Background: Proteinuria is a marker of vascular dysfunction that predicted increased cardiovascular mortality and is associated with neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in population-based studies. We examined associations between proteinuria and HIV-associated NCI.
Methods: Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations between NCI at the first neurocognitive assessment (baseline) and simultaneous, clinically significant proteinuria [as random spot urine protein-to-creatinine ratios (UP/Cr) ≥200 mg/g] in a prospective multicenter observational cohort study. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations between baseline proteinuria and subsequent NCI among subjects without NCI at baseline. NCI was defined as a Z-score, derived from the combination of normalized scores from the Trailmaking A and B and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Digit Symbol tests.
Results: A total of 1972 subjects were included in this analysis. Baseline proteinuria was associated with increased odds of NCI [odds ratio (OR): 1.41, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08 to 1.85; P = 0.01] and with subsequent NCI among subjects without NCI at baseline (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.93; P = 0.046) in multivariable models adjusted for risk factors and potential confounders. Similar associations were evident when these analyses were limited to visits at which time study subjects maintained plasma HIV RNA levels <200 copies per milliliter.
Conclusions: The association between proteinuria and NCI observed in this study adds to a growing body of evidence implicating contributions by vascular disease to NCI in antiretroviral treated individuals. Studies examining interventions that improve vascular function are warranted.